North Carolina man accused of coughing on Walmart customers, claiming he had COVID-19

BELMONT, N.C. -- Police in North Carolina have arrested a man they accuse of coughing at customers at a Walmart store and saying he had COVID-19.

The Gaston Gazette reports that Robert Eugene Heffner, 26, of Belmont, was arrested on Friday night.

Robert Eugene Heffner of Belmont

Courtesy of Gaston County Jail



The newspaper cites arrest warrants stating that Heffner "purposely coughed at a customer" and said he had coronavirus.

"The action could create fear in the customer and the public at large," the warrant said.

Online jail records show that Heffner was charged with misdemeanor counts of a public health violation and failure to comply.

Jail records didn't list whether he has an attorney who can speak on his behalf. The newspaper said it's not known if Heffner has the virus.

A week before, another North Carolina man was arrested after taking to Facebook Live and claimed he tested positive for coronavirus as he walked around a Walmart.

RELATED: Man arrested after claiming to have COVID-19 during Facebook Live inside North Carolina Walmart

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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